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Army's plans to acquire Howitzers hits another hurdle


NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Army’s plans to acquire Ultra Light Howitzers (ULH) for its artillery units has again hit a hurdle with Defence Ministry seeking a legal opinion before going ahead with the deal in view of an order passed by the Delhi High Court in May this year.

Defence Ministry has asked Law Ministry’s opinion as one of the companies involved in the deal, Singapore Technologies, was not allowed to take part in defence contracts by the government after it was named in a CBI FIR in the Ordnance Factory scam a few years ago, officials said here.

Delhi High court had passed an order in May this year, asking the Defence Ministry not to proceed with any purchase in the tenders where Singapore Technologies were involved, they said.

After purchase of Bofors guns for the artillery units 25 years ago, no fresh procurement was made by the government to augment their strength.

The development could hurt Army’s plans as its Chief General V K Singh in a press conference earlier this year had said that the force would get at least one type of the artillery guns by the end of 2011.

The contract for towed artillery guns has been jinxed as it has been cancelled four to five times because of various reasons.

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